THE HEARTACHE of losing in September has become all too familiar for Richmond and its loyal supporter base.
North Melbourne consigned the Tigers to their third successive elimination final defeat in as many years at the MCG on Sunday, with the club's last finals win coming in the 2001 semi-final over Carlton.
Forward Jarrad Waite has tormented the Tigers in two of his past three finals, with two different clubs.
AFL.com.au looks back at the Tigers' past three elimination final defeats.
2013: Carlton d Richmond, 18.8 (116) to 14.12 (96)
Jake King contemplates the Tigers' loss to the Blues in 2013. Picture: AFL Media
After finishing the season in fifth position, Richmond met eighth-placed Carlton at the MCG in the first week of the finals. The Blues ended the regular season in ninth position but earned their spot in the top eight after seventh-ranked Essendon was disqualified as part-punishment for its contentious supplements regime.
The match marked the Tigers' first finals appearance since 2001 and Damien Hardwick's men looked destined to prevail after establishing a 26-point half-time lead.
An Aaron Edwards goal early in the third term extended the margin to 32 points, but things quickly turned pear-shaped as a Chris Judd-inspired Carlton piled on 12 goals to four after half-time – including five goals in the space of nine minutes – to secure a stunning 20-point win before 94,690 fans.
Judd accumulated 25 disposals and booted a goal in his comeback from a three-week knee injury, while forward Jarrad Waite and late inclusion Nick Duigan booted four goals apiece, with the latter playing away from his customary defensive position.
2014: Port Adelaide d Richmond, 20.12 (132) to 11.9 (75)
Shell-shocked Tigers in the wake of the Power's blitz in 2014. Picture: AFL Media
Eighth-placed Richmond travelled to Adelaide Oval full of optimism to face Port Adelaide after storming into the finals courtesy of a nine-game winning streak.
Tigers skipper Trent Cotchin won the coin toss and elected to kick into a strong breeze towards the stadium's northern end in the first quarter, to the surprise of many. The Power duly piled on eight goals to one to create an unassailable 42-point quarter-time lead and effectively put the result beyond doubt.
The Power' aggression around the contest was evident from the first bounce, as skipper Travis Boak collected 10 first-quarter touches and a goal on his way to 33 disposals. Brett Deledio led the way for the Tigers with 29 touches and a goal, but it wasn't enough as his side succumbed to a 57-point loss before 50,618 fans.
Thousands of yellow and black supporters journeyed to the city of churches with faith, but there was no divine intervention to deliver the Tigers a finals victory.
2015: North Melbourne d Richmond, 15.15 (105) to 14.4 (88)
Not again: Richmond players after their third successive finals loss on Sunday at the MCG. Picture: AFL Media
This game had plenty of intriguing subplots even before the opening bounce as North Melbourne opted to rest nine key players from its final-round match against Richmond, having already sewn up a finals position.
A second-string Kangaroos outfit went down to the Tigers by 41 points under lights at Etihad Stadium in round 23, but coach Brad Scott remained strong in his belief his experienced players would benefit from the week's rest.
Veteran Brent Harvey and free agency recruit Jarrad Waite were instrumental in the 17-point elimination final victory at the MCG. Harvey had 31 touches and booted two goals, while Waite kicked four goals to again put a dagger through Tiger hearts.
Tagger Ben Jacobs, who was assigned his first run-with role in round 11 against the Sydney Swans, performed his job to perfection and restricted Tigers captain Trent Cotchin to nine touches – the equal-lowest tally of his career.
The win in front of 90,186 fans handed the Tigers their third consecutive elimination final loss in as many years.